Spark the Change - Markel International wins 2nd Place


Spark the Change Award 2014 -
Markel International win 2nd place!

It made a nice change attending a conference without having the looming pressure of having to present!

Some would say that the only place you would find insurance and innovation close to each other was in the dictionary! My team at Markel International are starting to prove the neigh-sayers wrong by continuing to driveout digital vision within the insurance industry. It seems that our efforts are starting to bare fruit as we have been awarded second place in the Spark the Change Awards 2014!

The sentiment that for true transformation change culture needs to be embraced across the entire organsiation is one that I can relate to. Years of consultancy has taught me that even when organisations ask for “transformation”... what they often mean is that they would like the sub-culture of IT to change whilst the rest of the enterprise remains untouched.

Without buy-in from the very top, you end up having fake conversations and as a consequence... fake change.

Trying to drive true transformation is a challenge the new digital team within Markel International's retail business is taking head-on. There are no shortage of obstacles. Insurance is a very traditional industry steeped in tradition, peppered with rules and regulations and retrained by decades of legacy process and tech. Our team has been working to flip IT from being a bottleneck to being an enabler of strategic competitive advantage to our colleagues in the business.

This change is far-reaching. Touching IT, business, Finance, HR etc.

Our team was delighted to be recognised by the judges at Spark the Change for innovative and transformational change within the workplace and has been awarded 2nd place in the 2014 Spark the Change Awards out of 70 entrants across the industry. (We lost out on first place to GCHQ!)

As a celebration of this achievement infoQ has published a case-study on Markel International's digital team. Read it here:

The Markel Marvel: A Case Study of Digital Transformation in Insurance


Awarded at


Spark was a great conference which unlike many others, targets the ENTIRE organisation rather than just a particular role or function. There was a healthy mix of C-level execs, representatives from Finance, Business, HR functions as well as Technologists in attendance. It was a conference about changing the world of work for the better.